Defense Secretary Ash Carter happened to be scheduled to testify before Congress today. Thus, he provided the government’s first reaction to the jihadist atrocity in Brussels, in which 31 are dead (the toll is expected to rise) and scores of others have been wounded. Secretary Carter called the attacks a “tragedy.”
The mass murder obviously has tragic effects for those killed and wounded, and for their families, but this is not a tragedy. It is a war crime targeting a civilian population in the course of an ongoing war, which — notwithstanding the reckless posturing by the commander-in-chief — is not close to “winding down,” much less being over. It was simply shocking this morning to watch split screens. On one, we saw President Obama spend fleeting seconds on a peremptory acknowledgement of the attacks before moving on to his long, celebratory speech about how he has put the Cold War to rest in Cuba by working with “President Castro.” On the other screen, Belgians chaotically fled fire and debris while emergency personnel rushed the wounded to ambulances and carried out the dead.
Our enemies are at war with us. They continue to execute acts of war, not tragedies, against us. We cannot “end” the war by withdrawing from it; we can only lose that way. We cannot prevail, or even adequately protect ourselves, without seeing the enemy plain: radical Islam — Islamic supremacists determined to impose sharia on the world, with jihadists as the pointy end of the spear, and ideological sympathizers as their support system.
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